When starting our work lives, or a new career in an entry level position, it doesn’t take long for most of us to have dreams of working our way up the ladder, ultimately ending up in positions with more responsibility and a bigger paycheck. At some point after thoughts of a job promotion do enter our minds, we begin to search for suggestions and guidance on what we can do to increase our chances of getting that sought after job promotion.
These 10 super simple, tried-and-true tips will help make you better at your job and support your efforts to advance your career.
When you’re at work, work.
Nothing is less attractive to an employer, and sure to derail your goal of getting a promotion, than not pulling your weight. When you’re at work, work. Whenever you’re experiencing a slow period, offer to help your co-workers with their workload. Lend a hand. Lead by example and don’t hesitate to take on extra responsibilities and projects whenever offered.
Like what you do, do what you like.
Darwin said that the fittest survive because they have an advantage over those who do not survive. If you like your job, that gives you an advantage over the folks in your office who don’t like their job. When it comes to advancing in your career, if you don’t enjoy the work you’re doing or the industry you’re in, you’re less likely to receive a job promotion. If you aren’t passionate about the field you’re in, consider changing to one you love. Take pride in your job and let that pride show regularly.
It’s all in the details.
With today’s short attention spans and endless distractions, the details—and small, seemingly unimportant tasks—are often ignored. Don’t ignore them. When your employer sees that you pay attention to the minutiae, they tend to have greater trust in you and are more inclined to entrust you with larger interests and greater responsibilities.
You cannot tell a lie.
Always be transparent with your employer. Own up when you make mistakes or fail. Be honest. Invite inspection. Acknowledge and use constructive feedback and reviews to improve your work. Let your actions give your employer the utmost confidence in your integrity. Don’t forget, character is power. Finding success is just as dependent on who you are as what you know or do.
Always be polite. Avoid discussing politics, religion and other hot button topics at work. If you disagree with your boss, and you can’t—or don’t have the opportunity to—present your objections constructively, keep them to yourself. Have a good attitude and be easy to get along with. Speak up when appropriate and remember, courtesy pays.
Keep looking up (but not too high).
Learn all you can about the position directly above your own. Spend your spare time studying your business and industry. When other employees are messing around, spend your time learning. As you learn, look for opportunities to point out new approaches, advance new ideas and suggest new channels or lines of work. Look for opportunities to respectfully demonstrate your understanding of all aspects of the business.
Remember the customer.
If you’re in a customer-facing position, make the most of every opportunity to take care of customers and ensure they leave each interaction with you satisfied, positive and happy. Treat small customers with just as much courtesy and respect as you do the larger ones. Be polite. Do everything you can to ensure customers remember their interactions with you pleasantly. Keep in mind that customers don’t care if you’re having a bad day, but you should care if they are.
Always keep looking.
Continually be on the lookout to see what others fail to see—new possibilities for sales, new ways to bring in new business, new methods of doing things, unique opportunities. Think outside the box. Don’t be afraid to look for ways to help prop your coworkers up and give them the assistance to make them better at their jobs.
It’s not just about the money.
Don’t give the impression that you have no interest in the company other than getting your paycheck. Don’t watch the clock, anxiously waiting for it to hit the time to go home. Spend the first few minutes of your day organizing and preparing for the work ahead. Spend the last few minutes of the day preparing for the next day. Go above and beyond regularly. Become essential to the business and you will rise in the business.
Become a student of human nature.
It’s been said that the greatest college on earth is real life. Study human nature—its strengths and weaknesses. Become efficient at what it takes to sell something to anyone, even if you’re not in sales. Maintain good, honest, sincere relationships with all co-workers, supervisors, customers, staff and other stakeholders.
By consistently following these suggestions, you will become more proficient, effective and valuable at your job. In time, this will give you an edge, and put you on the short-list, when that next coveted job promotion becomes available.